-Written by Ben Panfil, Rainbows’ Summer Marketing Intern
When I walked in the door of Kid’s Point on my first day I was not really sure what to expect. I had never had an internship before and was pretty nervous. I am from a small town in Iowa and moved down here for the summer not knowing anybody. I had just finished my freshman year at Bradley University and was really excited about the opportunity to do work in the real world. At that time I wasn’t exactly sure what kind of work I would be doing. All I knew was that I would be creating some type of graphics for the marketing department. I had no idea how much I would enjoy working here and how much I would learn.
I am still amazed by everything at Rainbows. Everyone seems to be incredibly good at their job and everything runs so smoothly. Whenever I go over to Kids’ Cove I am constantly impressed at how happy the Campers are. They all have a smile on their face and get along so well with the staff. I am also impressed with how many families Rainbows interacts with. It is a much larger organization than I initially realized, with a huge influence on the community. I feel as though I have had the full Rainbows experience by being here in the summer and witnessing all the events at Camp Woodchuck. There have been memorable moments such as the Camp Talent Show and many of the choir performances. You would think that hearing the Campers sing the same three songs every time would get old, but it never fails to be interesting with all the kids having a good time and interacting with new people in new places. Each time I go to a choir event I am reminded what Rainbows is all about. I have researched some history of Rainbows and find it incredible how much has happened on the journey from being started with 5 employees and 5 children in a church basement to what it is today. I am so thankful that I got to learn about a business like Rainbows on such a personal level, being the only intern for the summer.
Along with learning about Rainbows I have learned a great deal about my own work and have improved immensely since the beginning of the summer. I have gained a much greater understanding of the design process and have drastically improved my attention to detail as well as overall skills as a designer. At the beginning of my internship I would make some things and take them to my supervisor, thinking they were finished, but would end up revising them four or five times. The original designs may have been decent sometimes, but I really appreciate that I was pushed to continue improving my work until it was the best that I could produce. During my time here I have found a new appreciation for all the inner workings of a business. About a week after I got here we had the 45th birthday party and I was astounded at how much planning and work was required to host two small events. That kind of thing is something I never thought about going into the summer, but now will forever be aware of.
I cannot say enough how glad I am that I took this internship, though it was overwhelming at first. I had just moved home from college and all of a sudden I had an opportunity to move 8 hours away to a city where I didn’t know anybody. I was very uncertain of what my summer would be like if I took the job, but I took a leap of faith and am 100% certain I made the right decision. I have met amazing people, explored a great city, and of course had a fantastic experience working at Rainbows. I am sad that my time here is almost over, but happy that I got the chance to do this. I have learned so much and will value this summer forever. I cannot thank Rainbows enough for this opportunity and experience.